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Improving Audit Quality

Audit and Oversight Community of Practice Workshop
24-25 March 2010, Vienna

A workshop for the Audit & Oversight Community of Practice (AOCoP) was organized in Vienna by the Centre for Financial Reporting Reform in the period 24 - 25 March 2010.

Summary


Objectives

The objective of the workshop was to follow-up on the launch workshop of 30 November - 1 December 2009 at which it was decided that the AOCoP would focus on three main themes:

  1. Improving audit quality
  2. Clarifying the scope of work of accountants.
  3. In addition, the AOCoP considered whether the theme of public register of auditors was of sufficient interest to warrant further community activities.

Description

Participants from all REPARIS economies attended the workshop representing ministries of finance, public oversight bodies, professional accountanting bodies, and academics.

The workshop was a mixture of presentations and group work including case study presentations from the Serbian and Macedonian representatives on the particular challenges they face and approaches they have taken to improve audit quality. External inputs were received from the French public oversight body (Haut Conseil du Commissariat aux Comptes) and audit and accounting profession (Compagnie Nationale des Commissaires Aux Comptes and Conseil Supérieur de l’Ordre des Experts-Comptables) as well as from the Austrian Auditor Supervisory Authority.

The technical presentations were in detail:

  1. Ms. Stéphanie Festou, Quality Assurance of Haut Conseil du Commissariat aux Comptes (H3C) – French Public Oversight System, on the overview of the French POS;
  2. Mr. Bernard Paris, Financial Management Consultant of Conseil Supérieur de l’Ordre des Experts Comptables (CSOEC) -French Institute of Certified Public Accountants, on the French model of QAS;
  3. Professor Rudolf Steckel, Vice Chairman of the Austrian Audit Supervisory Authority (ASA), on the auditor oversight in Austria; and
  4. Mr. John Carchrae on the comparative summary of the features of the public oversight of statutory auditors and audit firms in selected European countries as well as on the public register of statutory auditors.
  5. Regarding the case clinic, Ms. Branka Stojanovska, Quality Reviewer of the Institute of Certified Auditors of the Republic of Macedonia (ICARM), and Mr. Zoran Skobic, Director of Education of the Serbian Association of Accountants and Auditors, presented current QAS frameworks and experienced challenges/issues along with possible solutions.

This workshop was led by Ranjan Ganguli and Andrei Busuioc with a technical assistance provided by Mr. John Carchrae from the World Bank Center for Financial Reporting Reform (CFRR). The AOCoP and Learning System Advisors, Mr. Etienne Wenger and Ms. Beverly Trayner, moderated the sessions.

Participants confirmed that the community of practice format within the Regional REPARIS program greatly helps facilitate discussions between economies within the region thus fostering peer learning and cooperation.

Results

The Audit & Oversight Community of Practice assisted the further exploration of the themes identified during the launch workshop of 30 November – 1 December 2009 as being of common interest and concern to the community. The next activities foreseen for the community include:

  1. Discussing the resource and staffing requirements of professional institutes and public oversight bodies;
  2. Developing a model or memorandum of understanding for professional institutes and public oversight bodies to clarify their respective roles and responsibilities; and
  3. Inviting representatives from the EU to explain what is expected and what is important about the Audit Directive and how they would consider different arrangements in the region to comply with the Audit Directive including collaboration between economies and pooling of resources.

The Audit & Oversight Community of Practice continues to flesh out in greater detail the specific issues of concern to participating economies with a view to devising common and scalable solutions.

Agenda


Agenda of the workshop




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